WHERE IS THE MISSING BILLION DOLLARS?
On 30 Dec. 2004 UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, Jan "Stingy" Egeland gave a press conference on the Asian tsunami disaster.
Mr. Annan had just returned from his ski vacation where he had been for the 72 hours following the disaster.
The most interesting question was asked by a French reporter:
"Question (interpretation from French): You have stressed the long-term aspect. You will recall that on 26 December 2003, in Bam, Iran, there was another major earthquake, which caused 40,000 deaths and nearly 100,000 homeless people. At the time, donors made pledges, but two days ago Iranian President Khatami said that of that $1 billion only about $17 million has actually been disbursed. How can you ensure that that kind of problem does not happen again?
"The Secretary-General (interpretation from French): Not all the money that was pledged for the Iran crisis has been disbursed. I hope that this time, as the international community is really aware - everyone is involved - we will fulfil our promises. This is why, right from the outset I have said that what we need to do is to work for the long term, because it is a long road to travel. I hope that this time the international community will accept this thinking."
So apparently a billion dollars is missing. Did countries pledge and not deliver? Which countries and how much? Is the Iranian lying about how much they received? Or is the money somewhere in the bowels of the UN or in the pockets of UN officials? I'm sure Mr. Annan will be forthcoming and explain all. Right.
The full interview is in Drudge. I would link you to it and link me to you but I am too dumb to do anything except read and write. I always thought a link was a cat-like creature that lived in the north woods.